Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Joel interviews the MIFF team to find out what's in this year's program announcement! Click to listen to our special SWITCHCast ep now.x
review, Hellboy, Hellboy, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, David Harbour, Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, Daniel Dae Kim, Sasha Lane, Penelope Mitchell, Brian Gleeson, Sophie Okonedo, Alistair Petrie, Neil Marshall, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi film rating

HELLBOY

AVOID THIS LIKE HELL

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Ashley Teresa
11th April 2019

As an avid fan of Guillermo de Toro’s ‘Hellboy’ films of the mid to late 2000s, to say I approached this new reboot with apprehension is to put it lightly. Initially intended as a third instalment to the series, the project became a reboot after del Toro was not allowed to keep his directing role, and its star, Ron Perlman, refused to continue in the role without del Toro. Nevertheless, I tried to stay positive; new leading man David Harbour showed he could bring the charm thanks to his role in TV’s ‘Stranger Things’, the trailers didn’t look awful, and the film's hard R-rating in Australia at least hinted that there would be some gore for audiences to sink their teeth into. I can emphatically say that however the third del Toro film might have turned out would have been heads and shoulders above the reboot we get instead.

This new film (sort of) omits the comic book origin story route in favour of dumping the audience straight into the action, trying to forge its own path. However, this does not last long, and before the audience knows it we're back at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, back with Hellboy’s dysfunctional relationship with adopted father Trevor (Ian McShane, doing nothing here that he hasn’t already done in TV’s ‘American Gods’), back watching the protagonist battle a powerful witch (Milla Jovovich, the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise) who wants to see the end of humankind for some convoluted reason. You’ve seen this all before and it's been done much better, trust me.

SWITCH: 'HELLBOY' TRAILER 2

It is apparent from the films marketing material that ‘Hellboy’s' super-violent edge was its main selling point; a common complaint of del Toro’s films was their sanitised violence geared towards bringing in bigger audiences. The violence is here in spades - blood flows as freely as the alcohol through Hellboy’s veins. People and otherworldly creatures alike are treated like rag dolls, limbs and heads detaching from bodies as if they’re Christmas crackers made from jelly. It also helps that director Neil Marshall (the ‘Descent’ series) has a background in horror, being in tune with how to make the incredible violence at hand as horrific as possible. However, the light-hearted tone the film wants to take is muted completely by the multitudes of serious violence. From the tone of the trailers - and hell, the film itself - it’s shocking to see a film so devoid of any bloodthirsty glee. The tone of the film and its violence are so mismatched, and it is incredibly disappointing to see a film fail so spectacularly at the one thing it obviously prides itself on.

What shocks me is just how joyless the entire project feels. It wants to be a fun romp for young adults but the jokes are half baked, the music choices feel uninspired, the supporting cast feels wooden. There is the feeling that the entire cast and crew are unwilling employees covering a shift. There is no passion, except maybe from the visual effects team who try their best, but with the film's obviously smaller budget (no such figure could be found at the time of writing, possibly to protect the studio’s losses when this bombs at the box office) ends up producing creatures and backdrops one would expect from a video game cutscene.

It wants to be a fun romp for young adults but the jokes are half baked, the music choices feel uninspired, the supporting cast feels wooden.

The film’s saving grace is its final five minutes, and its mid-credit scene; one is a gleeful, pretty well shot and actually funny fight scene, the other a small skit justifying Thomas Haden Church’s fleeting but criminally underutilised presence in the film. Unfortunately, by this point it's too little, too late. The choice to also tease the audience with the return of a fan favourite character in an obviously planned sequel (that, if this film performs as deserved, will never happen) feels criminal. Both scenes taunt the audience with the existence of a better film, the film that this new ‘Hellboy’ should have been for its entire run time.

While in no way perfect films, the reason myself and others keep going back to del Toro’s ‘Hellboy’ series is there is a level of sweetness to be found beneath their cheese. This new ‘Hellboy’ adds literally nothing new to the character’s cinematic canon. The film’s existence feels barely justified beyond trying to make money and provide audiences with something - anything - to put a Band-Aid over the news that del Toro’s 'Hellboy III' was never going to happen. The character should have just been sent back to hell instead.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 11/04/2019
RUN TIME: 2h 1m
CAST: David Harbour
Ian McShane
Milla Jovovich
Daniel Dae Kim
Sasha Lane
Penelope Mitchell
Brian Gleeson
Sophie Okonedo
Alistair Petrie
DIRECTOR: Neil Marshall
PRODUCERS: Lawrence Gordon
Lloyd Levin
Mike Richardson
Christa Campbell
Lati Grobman
www.hellboy.movie
HellboyMovie
HellboyMovie
HellboyMovie
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
The Princess Diaries - 20 years since Genovia found its princess
TRENDINGTHE PRINCESS DIARIES20 years since Genovia found its princess
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
The Emperor's New Groove - Getting in the Groove for the past 20 years
TRENDINGTHE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVEGetting in the Groove for the past 20 years
The World at War - The landmark documentary series restored in high definition
TRENDINGTHE WORLD AT WARThe landmark documentary series restored in high definition
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
A Month Of Sundays - A funny, moving story
TRENDINGA MONTH OF SUNDAYSA funny, moving story
The Visit - You can't choose your family
TRENDINGTHE VISITYou can't choose your family
Jungle Cruise - Sailing into a new Disney classic adventure
TRENDINGJUNGLE CRUISESailing into a new Disney classic adventure
The killer twists of M. Night Shyamalan - Ranking the meditative and menacing films of a blockbuster auteur
TRENDINGTHE KILLER TWISTS OF M. NIGHT SHYAMALANRanking the meditative and menacing films of a blockbuster auteur
Fanny Lye Deliver'd - Feminist folk horror
TRENDINGFANNY LYE DELIVER'DFeminist folk horror
Endings, Beginnings - Star-studded sex drama lacks substance
TRENDINGENDINGS, BEGINNINGSStar-studded sex drama lacks substance
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -
TRENDINGTHE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
Matilda - Revolting children for 25 years
TRENDINGMATILDARevolting children for 25 years
Some Kind of Heaven - A bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
TRENDINGSOME KIND OF HEAVENA bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
The Tomorrow War - A futuristic action flick buried under old tropes
TRENDINGTHE TOMORROW WARA futuristic action flick buried under old tropes
Golden Voices - Immigration struggles with amusing challenges
TRENDINGGOLDEN VOICESImmigration struggles with amusing challenges
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!